Greek P.D.O. Cheeses: Vol.2

Greece has a great variety of cheeses and 20 of them are registered as P.D.O. Each one of these 20 cheeses, has its own cultural and geographical characteristics. They follow traditional production methods, require a lot of hand work and are connected to a know-how of decades. If you plan on visiting Greece, search for these authentic flavors, and taste as many as you can.

Following our previous post, here are 5 more P.D.O. Greek cheeses, that have an interesting taste story to share.

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  • Kalathaki (Basket) Lemnos

Soft white cheese with a cylindrical shape, which matures in brine and has a slightly acidic taste. Kalathaki is produced in a traditional way by sheep milk or a mixture of sheep and goat milk (in percentage less than or equal to 30%) on the island of Lemnos. The name “basket” is derived from the specific knitted molds used for preparation that look like small baskets.

  • Metsovone

It is a hard yellow smoked cheese with a slightly salty and spicy taste. It is traditionally made with cow milk or a mix of cow-sheep-goat, with the two latter in proportion not higher than 20%. It is produced in the province of Metsovo, in Ioannina prefecture, where it got its name. Metsovone has an interesting story. The benefactor Evangelos Averof-Tositsas, decided to send some youngsters from Metsovo to Italy in order to learn the art of cheese making. These youngsters later returned to Greece and combined Greek traditional cheese making techniques with methods of preparation of certain Italian cheeses and started producing a cheese that was later named after their region. That is when Metsovone cheese was born.

  • Manouri

Soft white cheese with a sweet flavor produced from sheep or goat milk (or their mixtures) whey, in which sheep’s or goat’s milk cream is added. Produced in central and western Macedonia and Thessaly. It is considered that the most famous cream cheese is produced prepared in Blast (Blatsi) of Macedonia.

  • Katiki Domokou

It is a soft white cheese, with pasty texture characterized by its cool and slightly acidic taste.Produced from mixed sheep and goat milk, in the county of Domokos of Fthiotida prefecture. This cheese is produced in this area for many years and the technique has been taught from generation to generation from shepherds who lived in the area.

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  • Graviera Naxos

Hard cheese with cylindrical shape, and white-yellow color. Salty and tasty, with sweet notes. It is produced exclusively from cow’s milk or a mixture of it with sheep and goat milk (last at no greater than 20% by weight). Traditional and branded, it is produced on the island of Naxos in Cyclades, but consumed widely across territory.

Have you enjoyed any Greek cheeses?

Share with us your comments!

http://www.fetacheese.gr

http://www.greekbrands.com

Photos credits:

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Superfoods that taste like Greece vol.2

As we mentioned in our previous post about Superfoods, we are presenting two more foods that appear to be on the “Superfoods list” for a lot of reasons. They are complementing a healthy nutrition, and benefit our body in many ways. They can be added in a balanced diet and offer significant nutrients and simultaneously enrich the flavor of our dishes.

Sesame
SesameSesame seeds come from a flowering plant called Sesamum. This plant, as well as sesame itself come in many varieties and types. The most common sesame type is the off-white. Sesame seeds are considered a nutritional treasure. They contain important essential minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, phosphorus and calcium.

They are also capable of increasing the amount of Vitamin E thus promoting bone health, fighting free radicals due to many antioxidants they contain etc. There is also a substance in sesame seeds, said to be inhibiting the spread of certain cancer types.
• Sesame seeds are crunchy tiny seeds, tear-shaped, that have an earthy, nutty flavor. They can be enjoyed into cookies, bread, muffins and other flour recipes.
• They can also be used in salads and other dishes in order to add a slightly crunchy feeling.
• Tahini spread, which is made from the mushed tahini seeds, is also a nutritional treasure, packed with beneficial nutrients.
• Sesame oil has a distinctive nutty taste and is used in lots of ethnic dishes.

Caper
caperCapparis spinosa, the caper bush, is a plant that bears edible flower buds (capers) and fruit (caper berries).The caper fruits/berries but also the caper leaves are mostly pickled, so they can last for a longer time. Caper is known in Greece since ancient times. Dioscourides, the ancient Greek doctor, believed that capers benefit those who suffer from rheumatism.

Apart from that, capers are proven to have a variety of beneficial characteristics, containing at the same time the smallest amount of fat. They also contain protein, many important minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. Caper has a salty pungent flavor that mainly derives from the pickling process. When rinsed under some water, the excessive sodium is being removed.
In Greece, capers and caper leaves are enjoyed in many recipes of salads and sauces, cold appetizers or snacks. It can be often found as an ingredient in the Greek traditional salad.

With a little inspiration these can be added in your nutrition and offer a new palette of flavors and aromas, that will also boost our health.

For more information on Greek fine foods check here : http://www.greekbrands.com .

Sources:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=84
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-super-health-benefits-of-sesame-seeds.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/30/what-are-capers_n_1276491.html
http://www.bostanistas.gr/?i=bostanistas.el.article&id=1130

5 + 3 reasons why Greek olive oil is so precious

Olive oil is a world known product with significant consumption. It is widely known that using extra virgin olive oil in cooking gives us better taste results and major health benefits. Greece has the highest extra virgin olive oil production and consumption rates. Greek olive oil is considered the best olive oil in the world, due to its unique valuable characteristics.

So, why Greek olive oil is so precious?

History of more than 4.000 years

According to mythology, Athens city took its name from goddess Athena, when she decided to offer the city an olive tree, considering that this was the most valuable offering she could give. The olive tree in Greece has a history of more than 4 millennia, and historically was considered a sacred tree and a symbol of peace, wisdom and triumph. Olympic champions were crowned by olive wreaths.

Authentic – Not blended

Lots of olive oils produced, are a blend of various oils in terms of origins and qualities. This is happening for cost reduction. Greek extra virgin olive oil is not blended, it’s authentic, 100% Greek.

Superior taste, aroma & color

Greek olive oil due to all its quality characteristics, is a product of excellent taste, has a fine aroma and a deep golden-green color.

Hand-picked olives

The terrain where Greek olive trees are naturally grown, is not always accessible by collecting vehicles and equipment. For this reason, the majority of the Greek olives are hand-picked by experienced farmers, to ensure top quality and perfect timing, maintaining the tradition.

Low acidity by default

Mild climate and physical environment ensures naturally low acidity in the Greek extra virgin olive oil being produced from the fruit.

Features of Greek extra virgin olive oil seem quite amazing, don’t they?

As a consumer you enjoy an amazing product with so much stories to tell and so much culinary and healthy benefits to gain from.

Why Greek olive oil is a must for a food business?

Unique consumer satisfaction

Greek olive oil is so healthy and enjoyable and thus the consumer has a unique taste experience. It’s a win-win situation for both customers and businesses that creates loyal, returning customers, willing to repurchase the offered products.

Well-known branded product

Greek olive oil is very well known around the world due to its quality characteristics. It is a highly appreciated product, not only from the Greeks, but also from the millions of visitors to Greece that enjoy Greek traditional cuisine during their visit.

Variety and competitive advantage

Greek olive oil gives an edge to any portfolio and a more attractive products variety. Furthermore, Greek olive oil is so premium and unique that differentiates from competition, gives an extra weapon to the price war and provides a competitive advantage.

Have you ever tried Greek olive oil?

Share with us your thoughts and comments.

Panos Mavrakis,

Owner of Greek Brands.